In other words, it is getting someone to accept a “doctrine” as their own ideology. Hot Potato: An inflammatory (often untrue) statement or question used to throw an opponent off guard, or to embarrass them. 3. On this page we focus on combating and calling out “negative propaganda” that uses black-hat and grey-hat methods (as opposed to white-hat). TIP: Many propaganda techniques can be said to mirror formal and informal fallacies. This lowers our ‘sales resistance’ and makes us far less suspicious than we ought to be when the speaker begins telling us the things ‘the United States must do to preserve democracy.’”. This does not make it any less problematic, just as assassinating Hitler would not have made assassination as an approach to solving ideological disagreements any less problematic. Misuse of Statistics and Research: Presenting a statistics or bit of research in a misleading way. The purpose of propaganda is to indoctrinate someone with a viewpoint, how that is done and what viewpoint a person is indoctrinated with, and the intentions behind the indoctrination matter in terms of judging the morality of the indoctrination. Consider, rhetoric has been long studied as the art of effective persuasion in speech. Everyone has an angle, this page is going to teach you how to spot it. It is either trying to get you to consent to something or to dissent. Counter: Look for other connections, despite identity politics, at the core we all share human traits. As I note above, we are going to switch between NAZI Germany, Russia, and the West, left, right, and center. For example, talking heads will often dismiss the climate change debate with a line like “more research is needed.” Counter: Bring it back to subject, “with the research we do have, what do you think?” Or, point out, “you did not answer the question, specifically, give me a specific answer, what do you think about X.” If they won’t give an answer, say, “ok, you don’t want to address that question head on, that is your choice, you did say X, so we’ll just have to infer your stance based on that.”. Also this is all generally “social psychology tactics,” so one can look to things like “gaining techniques” and the psychology of compliance in general. If you want to hurt someone, diminish their standing, intimidate them, or provoke them into ill-considered action, call them a bad name: Crooked. Wilson: “People would rather believe than know.” The propagandist’s appeal to emotion is therefore bound to find a more ready reception than the scientist’s appeal to reason. A number of propaganda techniques based on social psychological research are used to generate propaganda.Many of these same techniques can be classified as logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid. The antidote to the process of propaganda is the process of finding factual truth. One has to get their hands dirty sometimes, but that isn’t an excuse to embrace the darker-side of criminal virtue. In other words, not only is this list “much bigger, trust me, it’s a great list” but also it comes with a handy guide as to how to combat propaganda tactics. 5. Well Ted, you said I was Satanic, but I go to church with your Mom. This is a type of subtle sort of grey-area BS. That’s why you are more likely to like something on Facebook if it already has many likes; more likely to have sex if you think all your peers are doing it; more likely to vote if you believe all your neighbors have voted. Simple as that. Hence, the biggest underlying problem with propaganda is not who is using it, but the extent to which it’s used to the diminishment or exclusion of reason, science, fact and truth. Ad hominem in general (deflection): Focusing an attack on the opposition rather than on the argument or issue. Virtue words: Anchoring positive connotations to an idea, brand, or group. Once you know of the techniques, you see that their use is pervasive, and that it’s not limited to one side or the other in the political arena. Used to recruit members to a cult or ideology by having a group of individuals cut off a person from their existing social support and replace it entirely with members of the group who deliberately bombard the person with affection in an attempt to isolate the person from their prior beliefs and value system. With a simple name one can  dismiss everything a person says, or conversely, a positive name can lift up a person everything does. Euphoria can be created by declaring a holiday, making luxury items available, or mounting a military parade with marching bands and patriotic messages. This is the sort of grey-hat and common propaganda we have been dealing with for decades now in America (since the post-WWII era of TV presidents, but under the media deregulation since the 80’s especially). Bryan, and with yourself (to get you to vote for Bryan). He makes the unreal appear real and the real appear unreal. Any audio/visual medium can act as a platform for propaganda. Capitalism, 2. wow I could see that there was a set of tactics, and have done some research to see what is the red herring vs. a distraction vs. some other motive – excellent set of information. We are more likely to act on a feeling without much thought than to act on a thought without much feeling. But if that’s all there is, if the system either lacks or disavows a mechanism to obtain the evidence, analyze it rationally, and disseminate it clearly, then before long we will have neither justice nor politics to speak of. Reductio ad Hitlerum (reducing everything to Hitler): A clever name for reducing everything back to one negative person or event in order to get people to dismiss the idea. In more complex terms, any emotion or conation can be anchored to a term, and then a term can be anchored to a person. Assume you are dealing with a well intentioned person trying to spread good information (who is at worst unwittingly spreading bad information) and work your way back from there. If there is a fan club around a person, that can be used to manipulate people. As Edward Bernays, father of modern propaganda says, “THE media by which special pleaders transmit their messages to the public through propaganda include all the means by which people to-day transmit their ideas to one another. Yes/No Conditioning, eliciting a response, leading: Eliciting a response by asking questions you know a person will give an affirmative or negative response to. Any interest can use propaganda, and generally all do. Counter: You could always try bringing up the American revolution, liberty, the bill of rights, individualism, etc. In this case it is giving people an A/B choice where A is presented as “very bad” and B as “very good.” You either love liberty like a real patriot, or you support those evil trade unions… it is an A/B Choice.” Counter: It isn’t an A/B choice, point out why it isn’t and why supporting B is actually the stance with good qualities that they have falsely attributed to A. The idea is to hurt or help a brand via labels. The idea that sex sells falls under this category. Disinformation: A broad class of propaganda which is false information spread deliberately to deceive. • Propaganda is an essential tool that is used to manage modern social order and also to mobilize masses. Because it is so darn effective. “We are going to do this healthcare so good, it won’t be bad, it’s great healthcare, I think people will really love this healthcare, it is very great.” “Hope and Change” “Make America Great” these are intentionally vague statements that let people fill in the blanks and ascribe their own meaning. In general propaganda is about emotion, not facts. TIP: Alex Jones, like Mort Downey Jr. before him does half info / half entertainment sort of talking head type thing. What follows is an overview of social psychology as a science, including a definition, its origins, and topics related to the field. ... which is the sixth in our series of propaganda techniques. The lowest of the low brow is negative name-calling and labeling (like saying “you are an idiot” in an argument). Complex and nuanced information is very hard to propagandize, as many propaganda techniques require simple slogans, simple emotions, and simple calls to action. I would generally say yes. “We all bleed the same blood.” Also point out the tactic and specifically focus on how this is being used to distract from more important issues. 1. 6. They are one of the main types of counterfeit information. This isn’t a statement on the person, it is a statement on how the fan-base can be exploited. TIP: Some propaganda tactics make sense in polite society. Many of these other techniques are types of disinformation. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media P. W. Singer. To mobilize large groups, propagandists often appeal to already existing groups and coherent identities. He offers false testimony. If you want someone to reject an idea, get them saying “no” and rejecting ideas. Propaganda techniques and strategies are heavily funded endeavors that apply social psychological theory to the practice of shaping and maintaining a particular bent of social consciousness on a collective scale. What we want to be on gaurd against is buying the cart with the horse (for example, buying into foreign propaganda aimed against one of the two parties out of an affinity for the other party, or buying into a plank like prohibition out of party loyalty). Half-truths are almost always used in propaganda. Propagandists appeal to our fears but also to our courage, our hatred and our love. I ask students to imagine that one of their peers is found murdered in the dorms. He lets half-truth masquerade as truth.”. It is like a fallacious version of reasoning by reduction (using facts to show a conclusion is absurd). The main problem here is that moral judgements aren’t facts and one thing being “more evil” doesn’t make the other choice good. Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? Operation “Shock and Awe” (where we all got to watch bombs fall on Iraq on live TV back in the Bush years), or calling someone a “Fascist” or “Communist,” or calling someone a “hero,” “patriot,” or “a real American,” these are only a few examples of how labels play a roll in propaganda and how we perceive something. You may not believe it, but there are large corporations and governments who have a vested interest in launching covert assaults on your mind. Help guide the person toward a broader group based on positive emotions (giving them a replacement group). While they may seem to be uniquely of this moment, concerns over propaganda undermining American society are not new. Part 3: Rapid fire conspiracy theories, Russia’s Online Troll Army Is Huge, Hilarious & Already Everywhere, The Sunday Show – Uncovering Russian Propaganda With Former ‘Russia Today’ Anchor, Propaganda Terms in the Media and What They Mean – Noam Chomsky, how people accuse Saul Alinsky of being Satanic because he used Lucifer as a literary device. Cognitive dissonance: Using a favorable stimulus to prompt acceptance of an unfavorable one, or producing an unfavorable association. For example, we wouldn’t say “Russia hacked the election” we would say “according to official declassified documents, specifically the January report, Background to Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections: (a document produced by select members of the CIA, FBI, and NSA under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence): There is a high degree of certainty that Russia ordered an influence campaign in 2016 to undermine public faith in the US democratic process and the sway the election that included: the use of troll bots and trolls on social media, hacks (including DNC hacks; as we later learned, with fake documents inserted), leaks to sources like Wikileaks, targeted messaging on Russian state media like RT, and more.” Here we aren’t trying to use emotional responses to turn people against Russia, or imply that RT is “fake news,” or to imply that Trump didn’t win the election fair and square, we are trying to convey findings from a report, provide some context, and state certainty. TIP: In logic and reason, deductive reasoning uses certainty and inductive reasoning uses probability. The influencing of news media by timing messages to one’s advantage, reinterpreting controversial or unpopular actions or statements (also called spinning), or repeating insubstantial or inconsequential statements that ignore a problem (also called staying on message). One tactic propagandists use is that they anchor negative emotions to a word! For science, factual truth is the agenda; it follows the evidence wherever it might lead. Two researchers at the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group examined misleading and incorrect posts on social media to understand why so many people share misinformation and help spread propaganda online. “Yumm, Bourgeoisie capitalism; tastes like liberty!” All half-joking aside, the thing to note here is that selling Bourgeoisie capitalism via “the main stream media,” and generally selling other Americanisms, is only one of many things happening in the world today. Hope and Change. No, you’ll never change the mind of a bot, but you may influence others viewing the thread or, you never know, could influence the entity behind the bot. With the aid of all the other propaganda devices, all of the artifices of flattery are used to harness the fears and hatreds, prejudices and biases, convictions and ideals common to a group. PROPAGANDA COMES TO THE UNITED STATES • In America power of propaganda was given serious consideration specially in the year of world war 1. Weak Inference (or False Cause): When a judgement is made based on inconclusive evidence. Nice spin. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.” (Propaganda, Edward Bernays) This passage was written by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud and a pioneering mind behind advertising, modern propaganda and the field of public relations. Could always do with another edit! And the competition is rigged. Lying and deception can be the basis of many propaganda techniques including Ad Hominem arguments, Big-Lie, Defamation, Door-in-the-Face, Half-truth, Name-calling or any other technique that is based on dishonesty or deception. It uses a type of logic, but that logic is based on fallacy and emotion, rather than formal sound and cogent logic. Love bombing (Milieu control): Using peer or social pressure to engender adherence to an idea or cause; related to brainwashing and mind control. Anger is closely related and used to much the same effect. Exploiting the nature fear of “others” and the desire to belong to a group is a favorite tactic of propagandists and authoritarians. Cherry picking, out-of-context, distortion of data, card stacking, selective truth: Picking and choosing which facts you present and how you frame them. If we keep hearing “pro-life” instead of “anti-choice” or “taxation is theft” instead of “paying our fair share” or “gay marriage” instead of “marriage equality” it can become true. Euphoria: The use of an event that generates euphoria or happiness, or using an appealing event to boost morale. Oversimplification: Offering generalities in response to complex questions. “Y and Z? Additional Physical Format: Online version: Doob, Leonard William, 1909-Propaganda. The IPA defined propaganda as, "expression of opinion or action by individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence opinions or actions of other individuals or groups with reference to predetermined ends." “THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. NOTES: Some of the “big list” below is borrowed from Wikipedia and Daily Writing Tips at the moment while I better collect my thoughts (really want that to be clear while it still clearly mimics their lists). Scapegoating: Blaming a person or a group for a problem so that those responsible for it are assuaged of guilt and/or to distract the audience from the problem itself and the need to fix it. However, these kinds of words mean different things to different people and can be used in different ways. It’s a way to Bask in someone’s Reflected Glory (BIRGing, in social psychology parlance), to have another’s legitimacy confer legitimacy onto the propagandist. Everything from national anthems, to catchy jingles, to distortions. The difference between “Russia hacked the election, that is why Trump won” and “according to the intelligence report it was highly likely that Russia interfered to hurt Clinton, but it doesn’t speak to whether or not this effort did in fact influence the election (and certainly it did not insinuate Trump colluded or didn’t win fairly)” is the difference between presenting counterfeit information and propaganda and presenting real information meant to inform on a difficult subject with no simple A/B answer or slogan. Social psychology topics can provide a great deal of inspiration for further research, whether you are writing a psychology paper or conducting your own psychology experiment. A. 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2020 techniques of propaganda in social psychology